Sweetened condensed milk is a versatile ingredient with a great flavor profile. You’ll typically find it sweetening coffee drinks and used in custardy desserts, such as ice cream and key lime pie. One place you wouldn’t expect to find it is in a batch of chocolate chip cookie dough, but that is exactly where it is in these Chocolate Chip Treasure Cookies. The sweetened condensed milk replaces both sugar and eggs in this cookie recipe, and you would never guess that the cookie is made with such a unique dough when tasting the finished product.
The cookie dough uses a mixture of graham cracker crumbs and flour to give it substance, and that mixture is combined with sweetened condensed milk and butter to form the base of the dough. The dough is fairly wet, but includes shredded coconut, chocolate chips and chopped walnuts and all of those mix-ins give the cookies a little extra body. I added both cinnamon and vanilla extract, to bump up the flavor in these cookies, as well as a little salt to balance out the sweetness of the milk. The finished cookies have a great flavor that blends a hint of graham cracker with cinnamon and coconut. They’re very chewy cookies, and the rich chocolate chips and crunchy walnuts add some nice texture to them.
I found the original recipe on an old magazine ad for Eagle Brand – and no memory of clipping it out at all – from the mid-90s, and only changed it by added cinnamon, vanilla and salt to the same dough. Why these are called treasure cookies, I can’t say, except that the magazine clipping that I found my recipe on (it is also on the Eagle Brand website) has a neat pirate map printed on it and the cookie is clearly where X marks the spot! The name is cute and the cookies are tasty, so a name with a little bit of mystery just serves to make these a little more interesting – even though it might be easier to call them Chocolate Chip Sweetened Condensed Milk Cookies. Be sure not to overbake these, as the cookies can get a little hard if they are baked too long. It is best to take them out when they are just lightly brown, and let them set up on the baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.
Chocolate Chip Treasure Cookies
(a.k.a. Chocolate Chip Sweetened Condensed Milk Cookies)
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 14-oz can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups shredded coconut
2 cups semisweet or dark chocolate chips
1 cup chopped walnuts (pref. toasted and salted)
Preheat oven to 375F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a small bowl, whisk together graham cracker crumbs, flour, baking powder, salt and ground cinnamon.
In a large bowl, beat together sweetened condensed milk, butter and vanilla extract until creamy. Stir in graham cracker mixture, and after it has been incorporated, stir in coconut, chocolate chips and walnuts.
Drop 1-inch balls onto prepared baking sheet.
Bake for 10-12 minutes, until cookies are lightly browned and just set. Allow to cool on the baking sheet for 3-4 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Makes about 3 1/2 dozen.